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Communication and interpersonal skills are ________ important in their own ways.

The above sentence is a GATE 2014 MCQ Question with the following options -

  • both
  • each
  • all
  • either

The options 'all' and 'either' are certainly not the answer. I am convinced that 'both' is the right answer. I have doubts whether 'each' is equally right or not.

I have read the distinction between both and each in this question but I don't understand how to use the knowledge here.

The doubt is due to this question about is/are each.

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  • If you take skills as plural count (unusual with 'interpersonal', but I can't see how it can be classed as incorrect see for instance [uk.indeed.com/career-advice ... interpersonal skills {Some examples of interpersonal skills include:}]) 'all' comes into play, though it would normally be sentence-initial here. // Arguably, neither (a) nor (b) is grammatical, the correct formulation being 'Communication and interpersonal skills are both important, each in its own ways.' But notional agreement is complex here. Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 11:14
  • 3
    The sentence works with no additional words. Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 11:50
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    The last two don't work, but the first two do. To summarize: both are correct; each is correct. As noted, not using a quantifier is acceptable also. Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 14:12
  • 1
    I think the question setter overreached himself here in an attempt to ask a hard question. I suppose— and it's a mere guess— that he thought only both fits here because each takes a singular noun/pronoun after it. But that's not how he's framed the question
    – user405662
    Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 16:45
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    As we can see on ESU.SE, English language exam questions worldwide are pretty pathetic. But who cares? Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 18:47

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